Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Amina Zakari has denied marrying one of the sons of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Zakari in an interview on Saturday debunked rumours that she is an in-law to Buhari, saying she is not married to any of Buhari’s son or any of her daughters married to Buhari.
She also dismissed insinuations that she lobbied to be appointed the acting Chairman of the commission after the expiration of the tenure of the former Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega.
She said she was appointed into the position being the most senior commissioner in the commission when Jega retired.
Zakari said she had already packed out her things from INEC as she was also due for retirement a month later before she was appointed as the acting head of the commission.
“I did not lobby for it. I had packed all my things out of INEC and wanted to take a leave for the remaining three weeks. I was on my way home when I was told the head of service was looking for me, and I said what for?
I just continued driving. I was almost home when they said, ‘Come back, you have a letter to be the acting Chairman.’
I said, ‘but somebody was appointed in the morning, take the letter to INEC.’ But they said, ‘It is in your name. You have to come and receive it.
While I was still arguing, my driver decided to turn round. I called the former chairman and he said, ‘Go pick the letter.’
I was confused and worried because it is an enormous responsibility and I wasn’t really expecting it.
I picked the letter and came back to the office the next day in a sober mood. I know the only thing left to do is to consolidate on the gains within this acting period; just maintain an administrative structure, try to keep the commission running administratively and then let’s see what happens, since I know the problems of the commission in terms of business processes”.
She noted that she is not bothered about the criticism trailing her appointment, particularly from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
She stated that she was surprised that the PDP is kicking against her appointment, saying she had worked very well with the party before as the National Commissioner in charge of political parties.
“And at that time, there was no single complaint about me. Normally, you see somebody’s name being mentioned in petitions, but in all the four years, there was no time any political party or faction mentioned me in person as doing something to influence any of their activities.
You would see tons of complaints and petitions from political parties. They would put our directors and everybody in the papers. Did you ever see my name crop up?
That was the most sensitive and difficult assignment in INEC and I did it for four years. So for PDP to be saying they don’t like my appointment, that is politics”, she added.
On whether the outcry from the PDP will affect her chances of being confirmed as the substantive Chairman of the commission, Zakari said if God decides that she would be the one to continue, she will have to do my best..
She stated that people should not get distracted by this ‘family or no family’ issue rather they should e bothered about whether she is competent to do the job.